I’ll be honest, the evil that is currently steam rolling our world leaves me emotionally drained and overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness. I can’t even tell you how many times I have wanted to shut down all of my social media accounts just to avoid hearing about it. I’m so tired of hearing, seeing and reading about all the sadness. If I don’t see it, then I won’t be affected by it, right?
But I can’t bring myself to ignore it either.
Every time I read about someone hurting or suffering or struggling, and every time I even think about turning a blind eye, this gentle passage of scripture floats through my mind and my heart strings are tugged:
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.” Philippians 2:1-3
It means we’re in this together.
When one hurts, we all hurt.
And while it may feel like there’s not a whole lot one solo person can do, we can pray… we can let it move us… we can let it compel us to our knees… and we can let it motivate us to outpour extra doses of love and compassion to those we run into on a daily basis.
Like when I drove through the Starbucks lineup yesterday and the greeter asked how I was doing despite all the tragedies.
I said, “What’s happening in this world sucks. It hurts my heart.”
She said, “I know how you feel, but what can we even do about it?”
I replied, “Well, for starters, I can respond by treating everyone in this lineup to coffee and you can tell them all it’s for Paris. I can go buy that homeless man on the corner some dinner for the evening. I can drive to the food bank and contribute something generous. I can talk to my boys about all the hate in this world then teach them how to love and be men of integrity and empathy. And… I can tell you how great of a job you’re doing and that I hope you have an amazing day despite.”
Then we both grabbed coffee cups, raised them high in the air and cheerfully chimed, “For Paris!”
Friends, never has there been a greater need to talk about hope.
Never has there been a greater need to demonstrate love.
Never has there been a greater need to exemplify kindness and compassion and generosity.
Now is NOT the time to bow out, back off, disengage, shut down or hide.
Now is the time to rise.
This world needs leaders of hope.
This world needs leaders of love.
This world needs leaders of kindness and compassion and generosity.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15
Dear heavenly Father, there are no words. The tragedies and the atrocities that plague this world are too heavy for a human heart to bear. I find myself stumbling over my sentences and struggling to form cohesive thought because how can I know what to pray when I can’t even begin to understand the depths of such evil. I find comfort in knowing you are a big God and that YOU can handle all things. Reveal Yourself in these desperate times and bring forth Your power, Your peace and Your love. Whisper truth to hardened hearts and shower peace where grief and despair overwhelm. You are a God of miracles. Use me to be a leader of hope, love, kindness, compassion, generosity, truth and change, in Your name and for Your glory. Amen.